McDowell used her Pew Fellowship to examine the interactive effects of natural and anthropogenic stressors, such as toxic chemical contaminants, on coastal shellfish populations. She completed a comparison between two species of bivalve molluscs from contaminated habitats in the Northeastern United States and has begun to compile a data-base on contaminant effects in similar bivalve species from contaminated habitats in other temperate regions of the world.
Immediate results of McDowell's research have supported the application of demographic modeling to management decisions in contaminated areas of Boston Harbor/Massachusetts Bay and New Bedford Harbor, and a better understanding of species comparison in restoring shellfish habitat.
Judith McDowell conducts research programs on the adaptations of marine animals to naturally fluctuating conditions and environmental disturbances. Some of her major research accomplishments include the elucidation of nutritional and bioenergetic requirements in the development and reproduction of marine animals, the elucidation of physiological responses of marine animals to environmental perturbations, and identification of the relationship between bioaccumulation of lipophilic organic contaminants and physiological responses in marine animals.
McDowell's research has led her on expeditions throughout the world and one of her current projects is examining the relationship of contaminant exposure and disease processes in bivalve mollusk populations in contaminated estuaries and bays in the United States, Eastern Europe and several areas within the former Soviet Union.
McDowell also holds the positions of coordinator of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Sea Grant Program and associate dean of the MIT-WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography.
Ph.D., University of New Hampshire
1974: Zoology, New Hampshire, USA
Masters of Science, University of New Hampshire
1971: Zoology, New Hampshire, USA
Bachelor of Science, Stonehill College
1969: Biology, Massachusetts, USA
KEY LEADERSHIP POSITIONS
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
2003: Ocean Management Task Force
National Research Council
1999-2002: Committee on Oil in the Sea: Input, Fates and Effects
Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Marine Science Advisory Committee
Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee
U.S. EPA Buzzards Bay Project, Techincal Advisory Committee
Committee to Review the Outer Continental Shelf Environmental Studies Program, Ecology Panel
KEY AWARDS & HONORS
1995: Pew Fellows Program in Conservation and the Environment
U.S. EPA Environmental Merit Award
1985: New England Monthly